Part of the Locked Shields cyber game infastructure.


The largest and most complex international cyber defence exercise took place this week, with teams from NATO states defending IT systems and critical infrastructure from a severe cyber attack.

Locked Shields is an annual cyber defence game based in Estonia, and puts teams from NATO member states in the position of defending a fictional island against a sustained cyber attack across a range of vital systems.

According to the game scenario, the fictional country of Berylia suffers coordinated cyber attacks against its major internet service provider and a military airbase. The attacks cause severe disruptions to the electric power grid, 4G public safety networks, drone operations and other critical infrastructure components.

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One ‘Red Team’ of attackers attempt to hack into the systems defended by the 22 ‘Blue Teams’ of defending IT experts, which play the role of national rapid reaction teams deployed to assist the fictional country in handling a large-scale cyber incident. The Blue Teams mostly consist of national military and civilian cyber security experts. The organisers of the exercise gather in Estonia’s capital Tallinn, while the Blue Teams have online access from their home nations.

The exercise involves more than 1,000 security experts from 30…